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Alumni Spotlight: Veteran Ray Hancock

Ray Hancock joined the Army National Guard while attending high school in New Castle, Indiana. His specialized focus for training was within an infantry division. During his 10 year career with the National Guard, Ray had been deployed to Iraq (2007) and Afghanistan (2009) prior to receiving his honorable discharge in 2013. 

As a single dad living in Anderson, he was working full time and taking night classes at a community college. He felt like he was failing his higher education experience until he explored software development classes. He graduated with a Computer Science degree and had earned a 4.0 GPA. He had found his passion but not a path to a successful career, for he was not readily employable after attaining his CS degree.

Ray was so passionate about software development, that he created his own app and listed it with the Google Play store. His grit and determination to work in this field fueled him to pursue additional certifications to find a job that he knew he would love. After searching online, he discovered Eleven Fifty Academy in Fishers.

“It [Eleven Fifty Academy] was practically in my backyard and I had no idea,” says Ray. Working hard to pay his bills, he could not afford the tuition and the time off to take the rigorous 12-week boot camp but gratefully discovered that he could apply his earned GI Bill funding towards the .Net course. He realized within his first week how ill-prepared he really was to work as a software developer.

“Eleven Fifty Academy has done a far better job of preparing me to work as a SaaS developer than my CS degree,” says Ray. “I feel that Eleven Fifty gave me the right tools to be successful.”

Ray shares that his CS experience forced him to be self-taught given that many of the courses were online, but indicates that having an instructor in front of him at Eleven Fifty Academy that was hands-on was a game changer for his education. Working with other students in the Eleven Fifty Academy classroom reminded him of the camaraderie he enjoyed in the military.

“We [Eleven Fifty Academy classmates] leaned on one another for support and grew together personally and professionally,” says Ray.

Ray’s experience with Eleven Fifty Academy gave him the confidence he was needing to step into a new job doing what he loves: software development.

September 17, 2018
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